Any owners here of Bowers & Wilkins 800 series D4 yet?

Anyone here owns D4 series?

Actual owner?

Reason I ask: I own the 803 D3. A dealer locally had the 803 D4 on display. So I went to listen.

I was not really impressed from that audition. I felt my D3 sounds better at my home.

Having said this, the dealer had them connected to (obviously) different gear than me, to McIntosh gear, including MC462 stereo amp, and a Mac tubes preamp I am not familiar with. My guess is preamp with built in DAC. They were also streaming via a Sonos Connect.

These kind of auditions are a crapshoot. Unless with my own gear (or similar), and preferably in my room, not much you can learn


804 D3 owner here. I wouldn't expect a day-and-night improvement with the D4 series. Personally, I'm smitten by the new 801 D4. Just love it as an object d'art.

Not that crazy about how the tweeter sits on the midrange "turbine", but should look OK from a head-on perspective. Hope B&W shows at Axpona this year (hint: 801s with a pair of those McIntosh MC901 Hybrid amps!).

That midrange in a separate enclosure (turbine head) makes a massive difference to my ears. I would personally only go 803 and up. 

Don’t know why B&W doesn’t go the KEF route and use a coincident tweeter within the midrange. Bet it would sound awesome!

P.S. I just turned 69 and, for whatever reason, find I don't listen to music like I used to. Wouldn't make sense to upgrade to 803s. The 804s are super fine in their own right, however. Enough for me.

I just heard the 801D4 yesterday driven by Luxman separates. I was pleasantly surprised by how much better they sounded than the D3.

@thyname - I suffer from tinnitus and as much as I wanted to love my 803D3 speakers there were many instances when I just could not stand the higher frequencies. I also got rid of my KEF Balde 2s for the same reason. I happened to visit one of my regular retailers yesterday and he informed me how surprised HE was with the different presentation the new D4 series has -especially on the top end. I was saying to myself "sure - I doubt that is the case" but sure enough, no more annoying tweeter and everything just sounded wonderful. These new speakers have me seriously considering going back to B&W. I am a bit concerned that the 801 would overpower my room so I may audition the smaller speakers (in my room). Everything is so room and gear dependent. I was lucky that he had the same amplification I have at home so several variables were removed.

Thank you @greginnh , I appreciate you expanding over your initial post. It helps a lot. And you are right about that, speakers are very room and gear dependent.

@thyname this won’t help you but I’ll share it anyway out of interest. I auditioned the 800 D4’s at a dealer a number of months back, with my gear which I took into the shop. I went in expecting I would buy them. I was coming from 803 D2’s at the time (now have 802 D2’s).

I have to say, they sounded absolutely terrible - and I don’t think this was a matter of taste - they were objectively terrible. It was quite a shock and unexpected. Even the dealer agreed things did not sound great. Given that I KNOW these are fantastic speakers the only explanation is that it was a total mismatch for my gear, based around a Gryphon Diablo 300 integrated, Innuos Zenith + PhoenixUSB, and a number of different top tier cables we tried. Other speakers sounded good.

The only theory the salesman had was that the 800 D4’s really needed more powerful monoblocks, despite the fact that the Diablo is a beast.

What did they sound like? TONS of bass. Like, a silly amount of bass. I love bass but this was over the top. And, the mids were so diminished and small sounding it was comically bad.

The 800’s were on its caster wheels which may have been part of the issue.

For the record no one should make any assessments based on my experience, clearly something was wrong with this setup. But not being able to resolve it, there was no way I could proceed with a purchase. Just sharing the experience.

I have an acquaintance who purchased the 802 D4’s and they sound great. Driven by McIntosh so there was that house Mac sound which I’m not a fan of, but the speakers at least sounded nothing like my awful experience with the 800 D4’s!